Reefton gold mine sheds 51 jobs

Last updated 10:11 05/08/2014

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A further 50 mining jobs have been lost on the West Coast as OceanaGold Corporation downsizes its Reefton gold mine.

The Australian company made 51 employees at the mine redundant yesterday.

OceanaGold announced in June that it would lose about 60 jobs as the opencast mine wound down to a "care and maintenance" phase.

Yesterday workers found out who had been made redundant in the cuts.

Engineers, Printing and Manufacturing Union West Coast organiser Garth Elliott said he understood 51 workers had been affected.

There were some surprises, with people who thought they were staying finding out otherwise, Elliott said.

"You know it's coming, but when it comes it's still a blow," he said.

In June last year OceanaGold said it would wind-down the Reefton operation and head into a "care and maintenance phase" by mid-2015.

Last week the company posted a first-half profit of US$56.8 million, a US$120m turnaround from last year's first-half loss.

It said that a revised mine plan at Reefton would result in a "slight increase in the life of the mine".

Before the redundancies, the mine employed about 240 staff.

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